Karela / Mormodica Charantia
Properties /Uses : A climbing vine with tendrils up to 20 centimeters long. Leaves heart-shaped, 5-10 cm in diameter, cut into 5-7 lobes.
The leaves, roots and fruits are used in the extraction of the herb with the yield best when using dried fruits. In earlier days, astringent powdered leaves or root decoction was applied to hemorrhoids. Leaf juice for cough and as a purgative and anthelminthic to expel intestinal parasites, and for healing wounds. The vine or the juice of leaves used as mild purgative for children.
The extract from Momordica Charantia (bitter melon as it is locally referred) is a proven hypoglycemic agent. One of the active principles responsible for this action is charantin, which is composed of a mixture of beta-sitosterol-beta-D-glucoside and 5,25 stigmadien-3-beta-ol glycoside. Therefore, it is important that the extract be standardized for both total bitter principles and charantin.
Momordica charantia is a potential herbal alternative for blood sugar management, particularly in non-insulin dependent diabetes. An extract standardized for all the active principles would have proven efficacy in this regard. The standardized extract of Momordica charantia should contains bitter principles and charantin.